Looking for some local (and regeneratively / beyond organically farmed) grapes come fall? We're trying something new and releasing select blocks from our Saanichton estate vineyards on Lamont Road and Mount Newton Cross Road for u-pick to local home winemakers and to anyone who wants fresh local grapes or to make local grape juice. (Ortega is a varietal that can either make a great wine or is sold as a table grape.)
Make your own wine from local grapes! Or, not sure you have the skill set or tools? Take your fresh grapes or pressed grape juice to a local u-vin partner to have it fermented for you. We recommend Flying Fish Winery on Keating X Road; you can also reserve allocations directly through them, which we strongly recommend if you're planning to have them do the pressing and fermentation so they can book you in, discuss their pricing and minimum / maximum sizes.
Here's how it works on the Parsell Vineyard end:
We're only able to allocate a couple of vineyard blocks this fall. So there are limited quantities, and we're booking now until our allocation is complete.
This is a you-pick grape package. We are selling fresh fruit only in these allocations, priced per pound you-pick, though we are happy as winemakers to give you as much free advice as you want. There's no fermentation at our facility for these allocations.
This is entirely family friendly. Bring your kids, bring your friends, bring a picnic, bring your fellow wine geeks for your harvest date. You're living the dream and harvesting your own grapes to make your own wine or juice.
We have three grape varietals available: Foch (red), Ortega (white), and Gamay Noir (black skins, white juice, so take it either way, including great for sparkling wine). If you're interested in trying sparkling winemaking, which is frankly what the peninsula is probably going to end up being known for, we will be doing a complimentary sparkling winemakers how-to workshop for anyone on the allocation list in early September. We'll also do a complimentary still-wine workshop if there's enough interest.
We generally expect to begin h
arvesting in late September / early October. Once harvest starts, it's 7 days a week from 7 AM to 7 PM, though harvesting the morning is strongly recommended. We aim for harvest the week before Thanksgiving and over the Thanksgiving weekend. However, weather conditions are obviously variable. Booking an allocation if you can only harvest one day in that two-week period is probably not a great plan.
The easiest approach, if you're not making your own wine, is to take the fresh fruit over to Flying Fish and work out directly with them helping you with the pressing and ferment. They do have larger presses and more efficient presses than we do.
However, for anyone keen to make his or her own wine, making just unfermented grape juice, or desperate for that I-Love-Lucy Instagram fix, we offer use of our crusher / destemmer and basket presses so you can head home with fresh grape juice to ferment if you want at a small additional cost per pound. We have bottles and corks / crown caps available for sale, and we have a limited quantity of corkers / cappers, fermentation vessels, and carboys for rent if you need. However, again, we're selling fresh fruit and supplies only and are not providing any fermentation service, as the feds would have a fit over that. It's gotta be just grapes or unfermented grape juice leaving our farm. The good news is: there's no GST or PST on fresh grapes, which are considered basic groceries. So you just saved yourself 15% right there, home winemakers.
Also included in the price per pound: complimentary custom labels. You design the label, send us a PDF, and we'll print out your labels for you. We can do colour, glossy or matte, so get creative.
How to reserve an allocation: we are able to reserve on allocation 1000# of Foch, 2000# of Ortega, and 2000# of Gamay Noir for fall 2019. Be aware that in most years, Gamay Noir on the peninsula is a sparkling-only varietal. Ortega can be used either as sparkling or as a still wine, depending on when you harvest it. It is possible depending on harvest conditions that we may be able to release an allocation of Pinot Gris a bit later in the spring.
To reserve, send us an email with the number of pounds (#) you're looking for, which varietals, and your intended use (sparkling or still), so we know what sugar levels you're going to be wanting to harvest at. We recommend harvesting Gamay Noir for sparkling 17-19 Brix, Gamay Noir for red (vintage years only) at 22 Brix, Ortega at 17-18 Brix for sparkling and at 19 Brix for still, and Foch at 22+ Brix for red.
Not sure how many pounds you want to request on allocation? It depends a bit on the press you use and obviously on how many bottles you want to end up with. We generally count on 3.3 pounds per bottle with our presses, assuming you don't spill things in the excitement. So that's about 80# for two cases of wine (750 ML bottles). A larger press can reduce that by extracting more. A carboy is generally 18-22 L.
The price per pound is $2.75 if you take away fresh grapes either for home use or for winemaking services at Flying Fish, and $3.50 a pound if you want to crush on site and take away fresh grape juice (we'll do set up and clean up of the equipment).
To reserve email us at email@example.com.